Nutritional Therapy

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The differences between nutritionists and nutritional therapists can be confusing for patients.

Here is a simple explanation

Nutritionists tend to work in Publish Health environments.  Their jobs involve understanding nutrition as a science but they do not usually have clinical training.

Nutritional therapists have been trained in nutritional sciences with clinical training and can provide advice as consultants.

The following definition of Nutritional Therapy has kindly been supplied by the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT).

 Nutritional Therapy comprises individualised dietary, nutraceutical and lifestyle advice within a Functional Medicine framework to promote optimal physical and mental well-being. It is classified as ‘Complementary and Alternative Medicine’ as it represents a nutritional paradigm different from that which underpins current dietetic and public health nutrition practice. Functional medicine is science-based and grounded in the following principles:

• Biochemical individuality: understanding and appreciating the importance of variations in metabolic function deriving from genetic, epigenetic and environmental differences among individuals.

• Patient-centred: emphasizing "patient care" rather than "disease care," following Sir William Osler’s admonition that "It is more important to know what patient has the disease than to know what disease the patient has.“

• Dynamic balance of internal and external factors: understanding that resilient homeostasis (the buffering capacity to respond to perturbations) is important for physiological equilibrium.

• Web-like interconnections – human physiology functions as an orchestrated network of interconnected systems, rather than individual systems functioning autonomously and without effect on each other. Examples include: immunological dysfunctions promoting cardiovascular disease; dietary imbalances causing hormonal disturbances; and environmental exposures precipitating neurologic syndromes such as Parkinson’s disease.

• Health as a positive vitality – not merely the absence of disease.

• Promotion of organ reserve as the means to enhance health span by maintaining genomic stability and mitochondrial capacity.

Registered Nutritional Therapists have considerable expertise in dealing with diet-related problems, both physical and mental. BANT sees disease as the complex interaction of a number of factors, which can be portrayed as a ‘jigsaw’ that influences how an individual develops a disease state and the potential hurdles in overcoming it.

Patient QI’s View:

A visit to a nutritional therapist should be included in every personal health strategy.

Patient QI’s Best info link:

Rules Regulations and Associations

The British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) is the professional association for Nutritional Therapy (NT) practitioners who are registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), the regulator for the Nutritional Therapy Profession in the UK. The CNHC holds the Assured Voluntary Register for Nutritional Therapy, which is overseen by the Professional Standards Authority. This represents the highest level of voluntary registration and regulation by the Department of Health.The regulations for Nutritionists as a profession are different in different countries, some have voluntary self regulation and others have no regulation.


British Association for Applied Nutritional Therapy (BANT)


USA: Nutritional Therapists Association


South African Association for Nutrition Therapy (SAANT)

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